Take charge of healthy life, be smoke­free

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

You prob­a­bly know about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween smok­ing and lung can­cer but did you know smok­ing is also linked to heart dis­ease, stroke and other chronic lung dis­eases?

A per­son who smokes is two to four times more likely to have a heart at­tack or stroke than some­one who doesn’t.

May 31 is World Smoke­free Day and Ruth Straw­bridge from the Heart Foun­da­tion is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple who smoke to make the most of the oc­ca­sion and quit for good.

‘‘ It doesn’t

mat­ter whether you’ve smoked for 20 years or five months, if you give up to­day your heart health will im­prove and in five years’ time it will be the same as some­one who has never smoked. The key thing to re­mem­ber is that it’s never too late to give up,’’ she said.

There are thou­sands of chem­i­cals in cig­a­rettes and at least 250 of them are harm­ful to hu­man health. For ex­am­ple, many of the chem­i­cals dam­age your ar­ter­ies, raise your blood pres­sure and re­duce the amount of oxy­gen your blood can carry.

‘‘Quit­ting smok­ing is the sin­gle most im­por­tant de­ci­sion you can make for your heart, your health and your fam­ily’s health.

‘‘It’s about whanau and be­ing there for your loved ones. Take up the chal­lenge and take a step to­wards liv­ing a full, healthy life and quit smok­ing on May 31,’’ said Ms Straw­bridge.

Smok­ing is the most pre­ventable cause of death in New Zealand; it causes more than 5000 pre­ma­ture deaths an­nu­ally. For help to quit smok­ing call Quit­line on 0800 778 778 or visit quit.org.nz.

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